Tag Archives: Global Mobility

3 Takeaways from WorldwideERC Global Workforce Symposium 2017!

The last week of September, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend 4 days in the city of Chicago attending WorldwideERC’s Global Workforce Symposium annual conference. The week started with partner meetings and the opening of the marketplace where exhibitors get to share their latest products and services. I always enjoy attending the marketplace because it is a great opportunity to not only learn about new services, but a chance to meet up with past friends and meet new ones too while having great conversation around the industry we enjoy called RELOCATION. 

Anytime I attend a conference, I always try to achieve 2 objectives. The first objective is to expand my network. This takes time and courage to step out and say hello to someone you don’t really know, but want to connect with because of the common thread of relocation. Your network will allow you to be more resourceful and give you another channel to verify and validate throughout the process of helping clients and business partners.

The second objective is to learn something new to apply for myself, or someone I know. This takes investing time to attend the educational sessions offered during the conference. I really enjoy the sessions that share trendsetters, and things to be watching for in the industry.

Today, I want to share 3 conference takeaways that you might be interested in learning about as well.

  1. Technology continues to enhance our industry. I enjoyed the sessions “Has Technology replaced service” which was quite fascinating hearing from a panel of experts. Some of the technologies discussed included email picture signatures, video surveys, 24/7 platforms, gaining efficiencies, generational differences, AI, Augmented Reality, and security. Another interesting note was the idea of hiring talent with technology experience and training the relocation skills.
  2. Duty of Care continues to be a hot topic especially during a time of natural disasters. This is the importance of Risk and Compliance obligation. What are we doing as corporations, and supply chain to engage in the process? Interesting note that 80% of ee think the company has a legal obligation, while 46% of companies actually have a policy. Some of the other notes in this area included the temp housing security such as air B&B. Be on the lookout for continued conversation around this topic.
  3. Lastly, BE BOLD! We all enjoyed hearing from an expert corporate panel facilitated by Peggy Smith, President and CEO of WorldwideERC. Peggy helped drive some real conversation around the topic of being bold… from corporate leaders to partners. Imagine the possibility of corporations including their partners for onboarding just like their new employee population. Imagine the possibility of driving business strategy in the mobility space. Maybe it’s time for us to “hit refresh” and be bold to start the next conversation.

Bonus was hearing from Mitch Joel. He shared some much about disruption, transformation, and innovation. But the takeaway for me was around marketing and the 3 components needed for success. These included Image, Mobile First, and the important of being social.

Call to action: Let me know if would like to learn more about the conference, consider registering for NTRP event on October 18 to hear Peggy Smith in Dallas. You can register at http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org or you can visit WorldwideERC at  http://www.worldwideerc.org for more information. It’s time to be bold and refresh our thinking in mobility!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “WorldwideERC Global Symposium” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon! 

Are you pursuing mobility excellence? 3 takeaways for your HR and Talent Acquisition teams!

Are you in HR or support talent with mobility needs? The North Texas Relocation Professionals (NTRP), a local relocation chapter in North Texas for WorldwideERC recently hosted a corporate panel meeting for members and guests to share “Pursuing Mobility Excellence from a Corporate Perspective”. NTRP members represent different relocation verticals in real estate, temporary housing, household goods moving, and HR managing mobility for different companies. This is an excellent organization to expand your education and mobility network! 

Our corporate panel was represented by companies with both US domestic and global mobility responsibilities including Sabre, Tenet Healthcare, BNSF Railway, and Dell. Some of the areas discussed during the meeting were: Policy Development and Review, Request for Proposals, and What keeps Corporate Mobility Professionals up at night.

Here are a few takeaways that might be relevant to your program:

  1. Bring facts and data to help corporate mobility professionals when you see an area to add value.
  2. Be brief and follow agenda for RFP’s!
  3. Relationships and collaboration are critical for great partnerships.

Others takeaways included:

  • Review policy often for exceptions
  • Collaborate with all of your stakeholders
  • Engage in partners that are “thinkers” and that understand process
  • Focus more on “cost to outcome” driven policies
  • Be transparent when challenges occur
  • Be brief on the RFP – adding footnotes when needed for pricing
  • Immigration and travel ban continue to keep us up at night

For more information on NTRP visit http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org/ or find us in Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter!

For more information on WorldwideERC, visit http://www.worldwideerc.org/

Call to action: Visit NTRP and WorldwideERC and browse website for resources to help you expand your employee relocation program. You can find many resources from benchmarking to a forum for corporate discussion. Also, sign up for the WorldwideERC global conference in Chicago, or our next NTRP meeting in Dallas!

“When you limit the people around you, then you limit yourself.” (John McCaa)

This has been a “A Relocation Minute” on NTRP Corporate Panel “” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon! 

What should you look for when moving your employees household goods abroad?

International relocation continues to be on the rise as companies expand in global markets. These expansions often include the need to relocate an executive(s) household goods for short-term and in some cases, long-term assignments. Companies with a large population typically have a great program in place to support each assignment from executive to developmental employee relocation. However, there are also companies opening in new markets or those that relocate fewer assignments that are often overwhelmed and need support to help employees with transition – especially with the household goods move!. 

So, what are some keys to look for in a household goods relocation partner?

  1. Affiliations: Ask your moving partner about their network of highly qualified market leading companies who have been vetted for financial, security and legal compliance. Partners with FIDI, FAIM certified and in compliance with OMNI standards can have added value.
  2. Technology: On-demand reporting will elevate the experience for all associates involved in the process. Reporting can include shipping information, quality metrics and transit details along with shipping documents to help create peace of mind when managing the process.
  3. Cost Competitiveness: Moving providers can sometimes be more competitive in traffic lanes with a network that allows “choice” among qualified partners and procures ocean freight as part of consolidated purchasing power to help leverage costs of a TEU.
  4. Move Coordination: An experienced international coordination team will provide single point contact for counselling and door-to-door transportation. They will also manage booking of the ocean/air freight, management of overseas partners, customs clearance, and quality assurance.
  5. C-TPAT certified: This credential can reduce the number of port inspections which result in savings to the client in the form of fewer inspection fees and fewer shipments delays.

Call to action: Reach out to your relocation partner to discuss some of these talking points for your next international move. As you may know, the household goods move is based on volume and country and can be a very expensive assignment. If you don’t have a partner, let us be a resource for you!

“Your most important work is always ahead of you.” (Tim Tebow)

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “International Moving Tips” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
Follow me…
• LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/brucewaller/
• Twitter too https://twitter.com/BruceWaller
• Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brucewwaller

This concept will MAKE A DIFFERENCE for your employees with small moves

Relocating employees and families come in all shapes and sizes. Some employees and families have a large amount of household goods items to move that can take up the entire moving truck, while other employees are just beginning their career and have very few household items to transport to a new city. While each employee’s move may be important, they may have very different needs. One size does not fit all in a household goods relocation and it’s important to have a partner that can give your team options when needed. Let me illustrate…

I recently received a call from a customer that was looking to move from a one bedroom apartment in Texas to Colorado. Her biggest concern was Timing. She couldn’t have a long delivery window due to time restrictions with her job at destination which can be typical for a van line when moving a small shipment with a long distance. I advised there is now a way to actually schedule a preferred one day delivery for her small shipment to meet her needs through a small move container concept as long as she fit the requirements. Needless to say, she was excited to hear about this concept which eased the stress of the move for her. 

Here are 3 things you need to know about a container move for your employees this summer:

  1. Container moves include a one day preferred delivery versus the van line time of 1-3 weeks. You can set up delivery when you reserve the loading date.
  2. Container moves include up to 3 weeks of storage for no additional cost to give you time to travel and take possession on new apartment or home at destination.
  3. There are a few restrictions on the “container moves” which includes VOLUME (less than a 2 bedroom apartment / 5000 lbs.) and SIZE (items can’t be over 87″ in length.

Helping someone with different needs reminds me of the story about a young boy on the beach picking up starfishes and throwing them back in the water after being washed up to shore. A man walked up and mentioned there are miles of beaches and he couldn’t possibly help all of them. The boy then picked up another starfish and threw it in the water and said, I made a difference for that one!

Call to action: Reach out to your relocation partner this week to discuss container move concepts for your employees with small moving needs. Let me know if you need a resource and make a difference for your team needing small move support this summer.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Small Container Move” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
Follow me…
• LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/brucewaller/
• Twitter too https://twitter.com/BruceWaller
• Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brucewwaller

Don’t Let It Bug You – How this one strategy can change the game in HR and Talent Management!

In the late 1800s, the boll weevil arrived in the US from Mexico. As it ate its way across the south, it arrived in Alabama around 1910, decimating cotton crops in its wake. Taking the advice of Tuskegee Institute’s George Washington Carver, some farmers began to diversify their planting to include peanuts and other crops. By following his advice, farmers around Enterprise, AL, rebounded from economic disaster and reaped the largest peanut harvest in the nation! Their fortunes changed in a single planting season, thanks to a bug.

In 1919, in the middle of Main Street, the town erected a monument of a Greek female figure standing atop a pedestal, surrounded by a fountain, holding a giant boll weevil over her head. The inscription reads: “In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the Herald of Prosperity.”

If a boll weevil can solve a financial disaster in Enterprise, AL, imagine this perspective for a problem you might be facing today!

– story by David R. Nelson, CCO, Armstrong Relocation and Companies

This story reminds me of the opportunities we have each day in HR and talent management as we continue to support  and elevate the onboarding experience when an employee relocation is involved. Things continue to change and evolve and we must adapt along the way.

What’s the one thing that can change the game? Diversification!

Recruiting and Relocation is not a “one size fits all” and DIVERSIFICATION can change the game for your company when selecting and retaining the best talent.

brucetruck

Investing the time to visit with your relocation partner to explore options for business goal alignment is essential. Today, there are more options than ever for employee mobility which include container programs for small shipments to eliminate long delivery spreads, and self-managed programs for lump sum programs.

Millennial employee needs are often different than Gen X. Executives often need a more complex service than a new hire. Tiered policies continue to lead the way due to the different levels of relocation. All relocation’s are not created equal, but they can all enjoy a great experience if aligned with their personal need.

Call to Action: Do you have a diversified relocation program? Schedule a meeting with your relocation partner this month to confirm options to support your employees and alignment with your business goals. If you don’t have a partner, I am happy to share resources with your team for best candidate/employee experience.

Thought for the Day
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” (Winston Churchill, owner of 3 pet boll weevils).

This has been “A Relocation Minute ” on “Don’t let it bug you” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

Meet Jim Powers, President and CEO, UniGroup, Inc. BeALifter Leadership Interview Series # 6: 10 Questions with Bruce Waller

10 Questions from Leaders that make a difference!

BeALifter Leadership Interview Series #6: Sharing Leadership Lessons with Bruce Waller…

Jim Rohn once said, “Your success in the next 5 years will be determined by the books you read and the people you meet.”

This is a testimony to my personal leadership growth over the past 20 years. I continue to learn each day by connecting with some of the most talented people in business. In this series, I want to add value to your leadership growth by introducing you to leaders that make impact as they share challenges, successes, and perspectives on their journey as a business leader and in their personal life. So lets get started…

Today, we are going to hear from James Powers, President  and CEO, UniGroup, Inc. Jim became President of UniGroup and CEO of its operating subsidiaries, which includes United Van Lines in November 2014. Jim joined UniGroup in 2001 as the company’s chief financial officer and assumed the additional responsibility of senior vice president in 2006. In 2010 he briefly left UniGroup returning 2012 to serve as the president of UniGroup Logistics, a position he held until being appointed to his current role.of operating. I had an opportunity to personally meet Jim in 2015 during our Armstrong Relocation Presidents Club event and know you are going to really enjoy this interview.Powers_Jim

Now, let’s hear from Jim…

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Cincinnati, OH, but grew up in St. Louis. My parents were both from St. Louis and moved back when I was four years old.

2. How did you get started in business/career?

I attended Rockhurst College in Kansas City on a soccer scholarship. The soccer coach, Tony Tocco, was also a very good accounting professor. I majored in accounting, went to work for Arthur Andersen in 1983 and became a CPA.

3. Do you remember a challenge or life lesson that you had to overcome early in your career which made you a better leader?

Many of the great leadership lessons I learned while playing team sports. Many times on an athletic field, it isn’t the best collection of players who win the game, but the team with the best leaders. What I learned on many fields and tried to coach myself through the years, is to never surrender – regardless of the score.

4. What was that moment when you knew that you had found your lane, your purpose?

It wasn’t right out of the gate. In fact, in my first few weeks at Arthur Andersen, an instructor at a training session suggested to me that I may not be cut out for my role. I have used that straight-forward conversation with that instructor from 1983, as motivation through the years, especially on those occasions when someone may have doubted my abilities.

5. What is your most favorite achievement in your current role?

I believe the team we have developed at UniGroup is rock solid. It is a mix of those who have been here for a while and some new talent sprinkled into key spots.

6. Is there any one person that inspired or mentored you along the way?

Many people have inspired and mentored me through the years. Tom Watson is certainly one over the last 15 years who has provided both great counsel and great example of what it takes to successfully lead an organization.

7. Do you have a saying or mantra that you live by?

I don’t believe in ‘live to fight another day’… ‘if there is going to be a fight, let’s have it today so we can move forward’.

8. What book are you reading or audio to help grow your leadership right now?

Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney.

9. Can you share any of your daily disciplines that help you stay focused as a leader?

Self-assessment – what is working, what is not. Team assessment – reinforce to team that they have my support but also provide direct feedback – even (especially) when not pleasant.

10. What advice would you give others to help them on their leadership journey?

There is not an answer guide and no two people will find success by taking the same path. Figure out what is important to you, what is important to those who have put faith in you to lead and what is important to those working for you. Be clear about the vision and work as a team to determine the path forward.

Thank YOU Jim, for sharing your wisdom, inspiring us, and being a lifter for others! Some of my interview takeaways include: Team sports is a great classroom for leadership education. Never surrendering, regardless of the score is a great mantra and a great reminder for all of us during challenging times. When someone doubts you,  use it as motivation to achieve your goals. Mentors can make a significant difference on your leadership journey, find a good one! When we are faced with challenges, try deal with them immediately so that you can move forward. Always evaluate what’s working, and what’s not working to make timely adjustments. …And finally, team reinforcement and giving direct feedback makes a difference. Figure out what’s important to you and to those around you, and share your vision for maximum team success!

What are your leadership takeaways? Send me a note  to bwaller@goarmstrong.com. I would enjoy hearing from you.

Bruce Waller, CRP, PHR, SHRM-CP is the Vice President of Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas. You can visit his BLOG “A Relocation Minute with Bruce Waller” at https://brucewaller.wordpress.com/ for more information on employee relocation resources, If you would like more information on this interview, or know other top business leaders that would like to be a lifter and share their leadership perspective, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. You can also follow Bruce on Twitter @brucewaller!

Meet Peggy Smith, Worldwide ERC® President and CEO. BeALifter Leadership Series #4: 10 questions with Bruce Waller

BeALifter Leadership Series: Sharing Leadership Lessons with Bruce Waller…

Jim Rohn once said, “Your success in the next 5 years will be determined by the books you read and the people you meet.”

This is a testimony to my personal leadership growth over the past 20 years. I continue to learn each day by connecting with some of the most talented people in business. In this series, I want to introduce you to leaders that will share challenges, successes, and perspective to help you grow on your journey as a business leader or in your personal life. So let’s get started…

Today, we are going to hear from Peggy Smith, SCRP, SGMS-T , Worldwide ERC® President and CEO. I met Peggy about 10 years ago when attending a national relocation conference in Dallas before her current leadership role. She is making impact for so many in the relocation industry with her leadership approach which includes being authentic, caring, interested, visionary, and strategic. She is someone that is making a difference in the talent management mobility space all over the world and you will learn some of the reasons why as you read her responses below…

Now, let’s hear from Peggy… Peggy Smith 2016 Headshot 4-2016

1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and Danville, KY.

2. How did you get started in business/career?
I had moved to Los Angeles, CA and was working for RR Donnelley, the communications and print company. I actually started off bagging mail! RR Donnelley gave me a great business foundation, because I was exposed to so many different areas. I worked my way up through magazine bindery operations to data processing. Then I became a production planner for pre-press, press, and bindery; moved into customer service; and transitioned to sales, offering software packaged solutions for all OEM products distributed in the APAC region.

3. Do you remember a challenge or life lesson that you had to overcome early in your career which made you a better leader?
I was working for someone whom I really enjoyed as my boss, and we also became great friends. Along the way, there was a situation that came up: I requested the opportunity to go to part-time so that I could go back to school to get my MBA – and around that same period, another employee requested part-time after having a baby. She was permitted to transition to part-time, but I was not. I’m sure there were strong business reasons for this outcome, but I was hurt, and eventually, I left the company. However, I wanted to understand it – and once I got over the bad feelings that lingered, I was able to put this in perspective. I learned that it’s important to enjoy your coworkers and direct reports, but it’s also important to know the difference between friendship and management, for both employees and managers. And there’s one more thing I learned from this experience: your best friendships are the ones that grow with you. My former boss and I both learned that we could keep the connection that we valued so highly; today, she is still one of my closest friends.

4. What was that moment when you knew that you had found your lane, your purpose?
From Donnelley, I went to Microsoft, a company that as we all know drives for results – it was a dynamic environment, full of opportunity. Eventually, I landed in a mobility-related position, and got my first sense of the possibilities in our industry. Then I was offered a double promotion – but it meant I’d be making a decision to go back into sales. The chance to move up two levels was not a common event at Microsoft, and might have been an easy choice for some, but I couldn’t ignore the hold that mobility had on me. I loved what I was doing, and wanted to know more and do more. That’s when I decided to go all in – in 2004, I studied and sat for my CRP® designation, started volunteering on committees and task forces, was fortunate to be recruited for the Board of Directors, and in time, had the honor of serving as President and Chairman.

5. What is your most favorite achievement in your current role?
I like seeing what Oprah calls a “full circle moment.” When I came to Worldwide ERC® as a newly minted CEO, I didn’t fully understand what it would take to transition from my Microsoft management mindset to lead a membership association staff. I made mistakes; I didn’t understand how very deeply culture can be rooted, and how much it can impact even seemingly simple transitions and how people communicate with each other. I tore a lot of muscle! Now that I’ve gained more understanding, and found my stride – while I won’t say my journey is complete – I am watching our team flourish, and that’s a pleasure to see.

6. Is there any one person that inspired or mentored you along the way?
Aside from my husband Greg, I would name two people – Bill Graebel, CEO of Graebel Companies, and my former Worldwide ERC® colleague, Anita Brienza. Bill has been a great mentor to me and is my “go to” for guidance in business; in organizational strategy; in seeing the big picture. Anita has been a trusted advisor to me in the “people zone:” she helps me understand some of my blind spots when it comes to relationship-building, and provides communications coaching for the best approach and outcome to a situation. As leaders, we sometimes lose the people we might have sought out and confided in along the way because we are moving into different opportunities, yet we often need a good sounding board more than ever as we take on more responsibility. No matter where we are in our careers, we all need mentors and guides who help us become the best versions of ourselves.

7. Do you have a saying or mantra that you live by?
I often say that every day I get up on this side of Mother Earth, the rest is easy! It is a privilege to have good work and good health – I don’t take that lightly. I have been told that I always seem happy and cheerful. I do feel that way – I love what I’m doing, I work with some of the finest minds in our industry, I have a great family, and I believe that the work we are doing in the talent management space is making the world a better place for businesses and employees.

8. What book are you reading or audio to help grow your leadership right now?
When I first answered this question, I jokingly said “Dr. Seuss,” but the truth is – and I think this is the reality for many of us – no one book or presentation grows our leadership… they all do. We are all exposed to so much amazing information, and it is so easily accessible, we can be trained and coached by some of the masters in a way that wasn’t possible just a few short years ago.

9. Can you share any of your daily disciplines that help you stay focused as a leader?
Two things come to mind. First, I am accomplished at “triage”- I’m able to quickly assess what needs my immediate attention, be it an email or a request, and what can wait for a less urgent time. And I am an avid reader of news – all types of news. This is largely a personal preference and interest, but it’s also important when managing a global organization to have a well-rounded understanding of what’s happening in different parts of the world.

10. What advice would you give others to help them on their leadership journey?
Find your own voice; find people who model that voice, and take into consideration what they tell you; then incorporate it if it’s a fit for your career and personal brand. Being a lifelong learner is key, no matter your role. I still learn every day from the people around me, and I value those who spend time with me to make me a better person.

Thank you for inspiring us and sharing your wisdom, Peggy. We can all appreciate knowing the difference between friends and managers in the workplace, as well as those “full circle moments” which might include mistakes and “torn muscle” that make us better leaders. We all need mentors and guides to help us become better leaders, to see the “big picture” and help us with blind spots and the “people zone” too. Lastly, finding your voice, and incorporating it into your personal brand, as well as being a lifelong learner is key no matter your role! So true! Thanks again for sharing and being “a lifter” in my life too, Peggy! YOU make a difference…

If you would like to find out more about WorldwideERC, visit their website at http://www.worldwideerc.org/

Bruce Waller, CRP, PHR, SHRM-CP is the Vice President of Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas. You can visit his BLOG “A Relocation Minute Update” with Bruce Waller at https://brucewaller.wordpress.com/ for more information on employee relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow @brucewaller on Twitter too!